COVER STORY: RUBY ROSE

Marie Claire (Malaysia) - - News -

Ruby Rose is a bea­con of light for count­less women. Marie Claire's ed­i­tor Azza Arif catches up with the tal­ented star in L.A.

THE­world fell in love with the in­sanely beau­ti­ful Aus­tralian-born DJ, for­mer MTV VJ, model, actress and ac­tivist, af­ter her stel­lar per­for­mance as the con­fi­dent Stella Car­lin in Or­ange is The New Black. And af­ter that, Ruby starred in xXx: Re­turn of Xan­der Cage, Sheep and Wolves, John Wick, Pitch Per­fect 3

and most re­cently, The Meg, which pre­mieres in cine­mas this month. She also fronted cam­paigns for var­i­ous brands, from Ur­ban De­cay, May­belline, Swarovski, Nike, Ralph Lau­ren’s Denim & Sup­ply and Bonds. But the cam­paigns that re­ally caught the pub­lic’s eye, and im­pacted their hearts were the cam­paigns for var­i­ous causes she be­lieved in, from equal­ity and LGBTQIA rights to anti-bul­ly­ing and an­i­mal rights. This pos­i­tive role model is also an am­bas­sador for Headspace, a youth men­tal health foun­da­tion that aims to pro­vide early in­ter­ven­tion men­tal health ser­vices to 12-25 year olds, along with as­sis­tance in pro­mot­ing young peo­ples’ well­be­ing.

But fame didn’t come easy for Ruby, de­spite her amaz­ing tal­ents and strik­ing good looks. Just like ev­ery­one else in Hol­ly­wood, she was once strug­gling to make it in the busi­ness. Born in Mel­bourne, Vic­to­ria, in 1986, she grew up on the run with her mother Ka­tia Lan­gen­heim, from her abu­sive fa­ther. In high school, she be­came the tar­get of vi­o­lent bul­lies who landed her in hos­pi­tal. “I’ve al­ways wanted to write a book about my high school ex­pe­ri­ence so that kids go­ing through sim­i­lar things that I did would have some­thing tan­gi­ble to read and feel like they weren’t alone.”

Ev­ery­one who knows Ruby would at­test to her as be­ing ‘pretty darn awe­some.’ Celebrity hair­styl­ist Castillo in­cluded. In fact, he com­pared Ruby to a ‘ve­gan m&m’—beau­ti­ful, colour­ful and strong on the ex­te­rior, but once you get to know her, she is sweet, soft and car­ing on the in­side. I can con­firm that, in per­son, Ruby Rose is in­deed ‘pretty darn awe­some.’ She ar­rived dressed in an over­sized hoodie sweater, fit­ted den­ims and some re­ally eye­catch­ing kicks that her friend de­signed. Her cropped locks had touches of blonde.

While get­ting her makeup done by li­onised makeup artist Jo Baker—who, I must add, flew down from Europe that morn­ing just to do Ruby’s makeup for our Marie Claire pho­to­shoot—she chat­ted away about her re­cent trip to Paris. “I just couldn’t go to Cannes, and shoot in Paris and not stay. So I stayed for six days, and fell in love with the city of Paris! That city could be the one.” She gushed. “I mean I knew that I would love Paris, but I didn’t think that I would fall in love as much as I did. It’s just one of those things that I think a lot of the Euro­pean coun­tries, and also the Asian coun­tries, have, where it is rich in his­tory and cul­ture. We don’t get that in Aus­tralia, and it’s not the same in the States. And I love just see­ing what peo­ple wear, the fash­ion, the food, and the cul­ture.”

Once the glam team were done with their magic, Ruby switched to model mode and changed into her first out­fit—a sleeve­less black MaxMara top, adorned with the brand’s logo in bold, tucked into a plush vo­lu­mi­nous plaid skirt that draped to the floor. I stared at both of her tat­too-filled arms and asked her if all her inked art­work had a per­sonal mean­ing be­hind them. “Yeah. All 109 of them,” she re­vealed. “If you count them in­di­vid­u­ally, then that's an as­tro­nom­i­cal amount. But be­cause they are joined to­gether, it be­comes a sleeve, or it be­comes a back piece. They all have per­sonal mean­ings or sto­ries—they are there to cre­ate a mem­ory. Some of them are more mean­ing­ful than oth­ers, but I love them all.”

I asked her to share some of her most mem­o­rable ones. “I have so many! Let me think.” She scanned through her tat­toos and smiled when she spot­ted a colour­ful tat­too on her wrist that reads ‘Mum’ in pur­ple, red and blue ink. “Well, I re­mem­ber when I got this tat­too, think­ing ‘Yay, my mum is go­ing to be so happy, I’m fi­nally get­ting a mummy tat­too!’ But the only thing she said was, “That’s it? That’s the small­est tat­too on your whole body!” But for me, the mean­ing was deep.” She con­tin­ues. “It was be­cause I used to host a lot of TV shows in Aus­tralia, and that was my mi­cro­phone hand. So nat­u­rally, you could al­ways see ‘mum’, ev­ery time I’m on TV. If I put ‘mum’ in mas­sive let­ters across my back, then no one’s go­ing to see it.” Her rea­son­ing made sense. “Af­ter I ex­plained it to her, she was like ‘I sup­pose that’s OK.’”

“Then I have my dog on my hand, and I have the Ninja Tur­tles—or one of them, Leonardo— be­cause that was such a big part of my child­hood and I al­ways felt like we were kin­dred spirits. So, these tat­toos were there to ei­ther re­mind me of cer­tain things or to help me let go of things, and just live in the mo­ment.”

Af­ter a se­ries of shots, we sat down in the dress­ing room and re­sumed our chat. I was still get­ting over the fact that my girl crush was seated an arm’s length away. She tells me about her role as Jaxx in the up­com­ing shark thriller, The Meg, di­rected by Jon Turteltaub and based on the 1997 sci­ence fic­tion book Meg: A Novel of Deep

Ter­ror by Steve Al­ten, and how much she adores her char­ac­ter. “Jaxx− I love that name. Jaxx is an en­gi­neer; she cre­ates all the glid­ers and all the tech­nol­ogy, and ev­ery­thing that they need to be able to work with the ma­rine’s ecosys­tem. She’s a cool char­ac­ter be­cause she doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily look like how you’d ex­pect an en­gi­neer to look. But hav­ing said that, I did a lot of re­search into fe­male sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers, and the awe­some thing is that they’re rad! They’re overly unique. So it’s cool to kind of use that part of it and then take into ac­count that she’s meant to be sort of the out­cast of the group, where the hair is re­ally funky, she’s got a whole like, tat­too that’s all about ma­rine life. So, yeah, she’s just smart, fun and kind of mys­te­ri­ous. I like her.”

We then dis­cussed her fel­low cast mem­bers, Ja­son Statham and Li BingBing. “I love both ac­tors.

“I’ve al­ways wanted to write a book about my high school ex­pe­ri­ence so that kids go­ing through sim­i­lar things that I did would have some­thing tan­gi­ble to read and feel like they weren’t alone.”

Li Bingbing is a phe­nom­e­nal per­son to work with. She’s so funny; she is so hum­ble for some­one who is one of the big­gest movie stars in China. Ja­son is such a lad. I love him. He’s just like one of the boys, and that prob­a­bly sounds funny, com­ing from me. We just got along; we had so many laughs. He likes to do all of his own stunts, and I like to do my own stunts, so we def­i­nitely con­nected on that off the bat.” She re­vealed. “Most peo­ple want to do stunts in the tank, so they built an en­tire tank for the film. But both Ja­son and I were like “can we just do it in the ocean?” We just wanted to do all that crazy stunts in the ocean, but ev­ery­body else that was Amer­i­can like “I’m not go­ing into the ocean! There are sharks!” Then I’d be like “That’d be great!” She laughs. “Iron­i­cally, just be­cause it’s the ocean, doesn’t mean there are go­ing to be sharks at our feet, and wildlife pop­ping up ev­ery­where.”

Out­spo­ken in ev­ery­thing she be­lieves in, and tak­ing a com­pletely op­po­site route to the celebri­ties’ usual ‘keep your cards to your­self’ per­sona, Ruby's def­i­nitely a breath of fresh air. She en­cour­ages peo­ple to talk to one another, and seek ad­vice when needed with­out bot­tling ev­ery­thing in­side. “I tend to first look within my­self, be­cause I feel the an­swer is in­side us, for what­ever ques­tion that we have. But I think that some­times, when I’m look­ing into my­self, and I still don’t feel like I can find the an­swers, I have a great group of friends that I can turn to, and I love the fact that no mat­ter where they are in the world, or how busy they are or what they’re do­ing, they’ll al­ways make time to help me get through it, and give ad­vice. Then I also swear by ther­apy. I think ev­ery­body should be in ther­apy, whether you’re in a great place, or not; I think that hav­ing the per­spec­tive of some­body that can de­mys­tify some sit­u­a­tions that feel re­ally over­whelm­ing, and they can just say 'it’s just this', and you’re like 'oh, my God.' That’s it: my mind is blown. I think it’s im­por­tant to have a lot of dif­fer­ent places that you can get ad­vice and sup­port from.”

Some­times it’s just help­ful to talk to some­one, or say it out. “Hon­estly, it re­ally just comes down to just say­ing it out loud. I like to write a lot, I have a lot of jour­nals, so some­times if I feel like I don’t nec­es­sar­ily need any ad­vice on a sit­u­a­tion, but I just want it to be out, or if I want to re­flect on it, I’ll just do some writ­ing, and med­i­tate and it will sort it­self out.” Say­ing some­thing aloud, or hav­ing some­one to talk to is one thing; but hav­ing the world watch your ev­ery move, and with ev­ery sin­gle per­son you have never met hav­ing an im­me­di­ate re­la­tion­ship with you, and ev­ery­thing else that goes on in your life through so­cial me­dia, is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ball game. “Yeah, I think I’m pretty wellad­justed to the pros and cons of so­cial me­dia. It’s very im­me­di­ate. I think you can kind of get a di­rect re­sponse to some­thing you’re putting out there, whether you want to or not. I ac­tu­ally turned off my com­ments on In­sta­gram a cou­ple of months ago. Not that be­cause any­thing hap­pened; I just kind of thought, I re­ally like be­ing cre­ative. I re­ally like putting things out there that are per­sonal or artis­tic or maybe it’s a quote or a poem or what­ever it might be. I don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to have ev­ery­body’s opin­ion on it. I think it can re­ally hin­der the risks that you want to take if you feel like many peo­ple are watch­ing. When it’s 12.3 mil­lion, or what­ever it is, I just pre­tend no­body’s watch­ing. That’s how I do films as well. Some­times I for­get af­ter I film it, peo­ple are go­ing to watch these things. But I think that’s the best way to live, is just to live in the mo­ment and not want­ing that im­me­di­ate grat­i­fi­ca­tion. Be­cause if you’re go­ing to take the com­pli­ments and the lovely things peo­ple say on so­cial me­dia then you can’t not take the bad. I'd just rather not take ei­ther.”

Be­fore we con­cluded our con­ver­sa­tion, I asked what ad­vice would she give to other young women that could em­power them when fol­low­ing the path she had paved. “I al­ways think like, what ad­vice would I give my­self, or what are things that I learnt through my jour­ney that work? I’ll def­i­nitely say that if you have an idea, that’s ev­ery­thing. Hard work is the big­gest coun­ter­part of how you’re go­ing to have suc­cess, but I think that hav­ing an idea is key. Some of these peo­ple have amaz­ing ideas, but they get in­se­cure about it, or they don’t know how to ex­e­cute it;or we get lazy and self-sab­o­tage. But we have these ideas, and sort of think like ‘Oh, some­body else will do it,’ or ‘I’ll get to it later.’ I think if you have an idea, just sit down and start it, don’t think about the com­plex­i­ties of how you’re go­ing to get it right, or get it per­fect and all the rest of it. Just think about the idea you have and get started, be­cause once you start, then you just go from there.” She spoke with such de­ter­mi­na­tion. “I think that if you’re not will­ing to put in the hard work, then it prob­a­bly isn’t your dream. I think you’d know if it’s re­ally your dream, or call­ing, or pur­pose. That’s how I feel like when I’m work­ing, and fo­cused on some­thing. If I have a great idea, I start writ­ing, or want to do a short film, or what­ever it is, and then I feel like I’m in my el­e­ment, do­ing what I’m sup­posed to do in this crazy world. If you have a men­tor or some­thing like that, that’s amaz­ing. But I think that we’re all so unique, and it’s like that Os­car Wilde quote; be your­self, ev­ery­body else is taken. If you have an idea in­side of you, if you have some­thing that you want to do, then you can do it. You just have to make that your goal. And make sure ev­ery step you take ev­ery sin­gle day, is get­ting you closer to that. It’s not al­ways an up­hill bat­tle. Some­times, you can go left and right or up and down, and even­tu­ally you’ll get to where you want to go, as long as you’re re­ally adamant about what that end goal is.”

“Hard work is the big­gest coun­ter­part of how you’re go­ing to have suc­cess, but I think that hav­ing an idea is key. Some of these peo­ple have amaz­ing ideas, but they get in­se­cure about it, or they don’t know how to ex­e­cute it; or we get lazy and self-sab­o­tage.”

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